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Rise and Shine: Breakfast at Echo Park's The Brite Spot

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This summer, Echo Park's stalwart hangover-curing hangout The Brite Spot diner launched a remodel, and with a thoughtful new menu of breakfast classics and inventive creations, the morning meal just got a little brighter.

No longer serving up dishes done with canned foods, the Brite Spot is now serving all house-made fare, from the decadent and generous wedges of their pecan chocolate "Cowboy" coffee cake to the cracked pepper buttermilk biscuits sandwiching a golden fried egg, bacon, cheddar cheese, sausage country gravy, and what they call "chicken fried chicken" in a concoction aptly dubbed "Southern Decadence."

You will still find familiar breakfast and brunch dishes, like classic Benedicts, omelettes, and egg-hashbrowns-meat combos, but it's really when the Brite Spot goes a little out there that they really make breakfast a treat. One shining example from their current specials is their A Burger For Breakfast, which basically riffs on the sweet-savory-satisfying flavor profile of good old McDonald's McGriddle (you know, that shamefully craveworthy breakfast sandwich where they inject syrup into the bread). This turkey patty is enhanced with chicken fat to keep it juicy, and topped with an egg, hashbrowns, and maple aioli for that suggestion of sweet.

Vegetarians will appreciate their selection of tofu dishes and meat-free options, though Brite Spot does carnivores right by adding bacon to a "hash" of brussel sprouts, potatoes, and two gloriously poached eggs. See, mom, we eat our veggies! You can even err on the saintly side of breakfast with their yogurt and housemade granola, which is resplendent in sweet golden raisins and other dried fruits and nuts.

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Plus, the coffee is Stumptown, the prices are nice--the big breakfast dishes average $10-$12--and the patio is perfect on a sunny day (dogs welcome). That's some good morning motivation there!